Epilogue of the Chosen One

by Michael Meyerhofer

One day, you’re trying to kill a shapeshifter
with a spork or dangling from a chopper
that’s spiraling into a live volcano.
The next, you’re fiddling with the guts
of a station wagon or asking drunk teenagers
to upgrade their Super Slammy Meal.
You try to keep that edge by tiring yourself out
with pushups then assembling handguns
blindfolded. But you can’t
outrun the truth as easily as you did
that squad of transdimensional cyborgs:
the world doesn’t need you anymore.
The last hellmouth sealed, the mothership
tricked into a black hole, burgeoning
artificial intelligence persuaded to choose
cupcakes over nuclear warheads.
Still, you’re trying your best
to fix your tie in this gas station mirror,
wondering why no one responds
to your dating profile. Maybe in time
the president will call to say thanks
but right now, you’re late for the funeral,
the grand opening, the last meeting
before a new sales quarter. And just like that
you spot her in the parking lot:
that mysterious brunette who wants
absolutely nothing to do with you.
Only she’s lost her keys,
and in less time than it took you
to escape Purgatory, she wants to know
how you learned to hotwire cars.
She sidles closer. You smell flowers.
Her eyes gleam like shell casings.
But you walk away, unsure where to start.

Copyright © 2022 by Michael Meyerhofer



Featured Poet of the Month Michael Meyerhofer

Michael Meyerhofer is the author of the Dragonkin Trilogy and the forthcoming Godsfall Trilogy, as well as four poetry books. His work has appeared in Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Planet Magazine, Hayden's Ferry, Ploughshares, and other magazines. For more information, feel free to check him out at wytchfire.com (fantasy) and troublewithhammers.com (poetry).

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